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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Opposition grows to major road project in AK's iconic Brooks Range

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Friday, November 17, 2023   

Opposition is growing among hunters and anglers to a proposed road in Alaska's iconic Brooks Range. The state has invested millions in the project, eyeing it as an economic development tool.

The Brooks Range extends from Alaska's Arctic into Canada's Yukon. The Ambler Industrial Road would cut a 211-mile-long east to west swath through the southern flanks of the range, in some of the world's most pristine wilderness.

Jen Leahy, Alaska program manager for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, said the road would threaten habitat and the wildlife relying on it.

"This project has really concerning impacts for keystone species like caribou and salmon," Leahy pointed out. "And would forever change the wild and remote character of the Brooks Range that is treasured by so many Alaskans and Americans."

More than 35 small businesses, outdoor brands and conservation groups recently formed Hunters and Anglers for the Brooks Range, galvanizing their opposition. The state argued the road is an important economic opportunity. Mining corporations say the Ambler Industrial Road would give them access to valuable minerals.

The road corridor would be off limits to hunters and anglers. The outdoor community questions the fairness of such a restriction and why the state would let international mining companies permanently damage some of the world's best big game hunting and fishing territory. Leahy argued the road also poses broad environmental risks.

"The Bureau of Land Management recently issued a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement that is about 1,000 pages of information of all the potential impacts to fish and wildlife in rural communities in the region," Leahy noted.

Dozens of which, Leahy added, rely on native species for subsistence hunting and fishing. The BLM is taking public input on the project until Dec. 22.

Disclosure: The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species & Wildlife, Environment, and Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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